GMAT club was a great resource for me throughout my GMAT experience, so I want to share my long road to a great score with you all. I generally scored high on standardized tests growing up, and I worked as an SAT/ACT tutor in college, so I had a strong understanding of general test taking strategies coming in. Given that, I went for an economical approach to prep, and bought Magoosh
and the MGMAT CAT package about 6 weeks before my first test date (8/20/12). I studied on average 2-3 nights a week for an hour or so after work, then each weekend took a CAT. I felt great going in, and was scoring in the 740 range on MGMAT CATs, but basically bombed the math section and got a 710 (Q43/V45). My math percentile was only 61, so I decided to retake it with more comprehensive prep. I wrote a review on Magoosh
you can see for my opinions on the course, its a decent economy option or supplement, but it's hardly comprehensive.
I took a week off, then spent about $1,000 on Kaplan
GMAT On-Demand and a few hours of private tutoring, had a similar study schedule with two sessions with a private tutor peppered in, but didn't take as many practice tests, and went in on my next test date (9/29/2012). Maybe it was that I switched testing centers, maybe it was that I didn't study the night before, or maybe it was the fewer practice CATs, but for whatever reason, my scores went down and I earned a 700 (Q42/V42). Knowing that this wouldn't cut it for my target schools (Ivy League, Kellogg, etc.), especially given my lack of name-brand work experience, I scheduled another test for mid-November. (Silver lining, I was eligible for the Kaplan
guarantee for full refund, but only on the on-demand course, not the tutoring hours).
I took a few weeks off, and got back on the grind, but again felt that I didn't have enough time for CATs. I then had a unfortunate run of personal problems, and ended up having to reschedule my test within a week of the date, forfeiting the registration cost. My plan to be done with the GMAT before R1 was obviously shot, and I was now set to take finally take it again on 12/27, after two of my R2 deadlines. Regardless i hunkered down, and worked through the entire math section of Kaplan
On-Demand, as well as all supplementary math info and did at least 20 practice questions per night. Just for added stress, my job hit a boiling point and I ended up resigning the night before the GMAT. None the less, on my last GMAT Prep practice test before the exam i scored a 730, so I walked in just thinking whatever happens, happens. The math seemed difficult, which is a good thing, and I was honestly shocked when I saw the 760. Final tally was Q48 (78%)/V48(99%) and 99% overall. Don't have my AWA or IR yet, but I got a 6 and 8 on each of the first two attempts.
All in all the best advice I can give is to just put in the work. Study, study, study. Get a program that will give you some testing tips, but in the end just learn all the material you need to know and really get after studying. I have always thought of myself as a natural test taker and I had to really bust my butt to get this score, so it's no easy test, but in the end you can make it happen.